Monday, August 10, 2009

Vocal Rehab

Lately the majority of my clients (singing and speaking) are coming to me with some kind of vocal disorder.

The singers are arriving with ruined voices, as they previously were experimenting with voices with their friends, bands and even recording sessions without having any idea, directions, let alone training on how to use their voices correctly.

Among the speakers there are lawyers, teachers, voiceover artists, TV & radio personalities, fitness instructors and customer service representatives who are excessively using their voices on an everyday basis.

Interestingly enough, they all expect a speedy recovery in a flash, kind of like stroke patient who is learning to speak and walk again would be expecting to run a marathon the next day.

It is quite unrealistic, but the good news is that there is definitely a pretty rapid way to recovery – however, obviously not an instant one.

When a person with a stroke or another serious health issue is on the road to recovery, the process takes some time – they usually start to walk with a walker while at the same time undergoing physical therapy.

And then letting go of the walker, they start to gradually walk unaided. And then, if they are lucky, they return to running and other physical activities further down the road.

The vocal recovery is similar to that, because when the vocal damage is done (singing or speaking) the voice is drawn very low in the body and practically trapped within it.

It takes numerous body and voice exercises, ie. actual “voice rehab”, to “unstuck” the voice from within and bring it up to the surface, and then and only then can we actually start the real vocal development.

Once it is on the surface, the tone is improved, the volume is greater, the raspyness is gone and the voice is ready to begin the actual training. The voice as an “instrument” is tuned.

The next thing is to teach the player how to take the maximum capacity out of it.

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